While the end of an excellent conference is always a little bittersweet, Day 2 of SDC 2016 still managed to deliver as much insight and enthusiasm as Day 1 — and we’re excited to share some of our favorite moments with you. Whether you want to check out what you missed or just want to relive some of your favorite memories from this year’s conference, take a look at some of the highlights from SDC 2016, Day 2.
Much like Day 1, Day 2 of SDC 2016 started things out with a Keynote address, this time led by top technologists and world-changing industry leaders like John Pleasants, EVP of Samsung Media Solutions Center America (MSCA); David Kenny, General Manager for IBM Watson at IBM; Eric Consolazio, Vice President of the IT Customer Solutions & Innovations Group at Cigna; Maureen Fan, CEO and Cofounder of Baobab Studios; Monique Jeanne Morrow, CTO of New Frontiers Engineering at Cisco Systems, Inc.; Diane Tavenner, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Summit Public Schools; and John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity. With such a diverse array of speakers, topics covered everything from the Gear 360 VR camera (complete with a massive giveaway) to IBM Watson and the power of AI, the increasingly popular and very promising connected digital healthcare ecosystem, tech’s role in education, immersive and animated VR, bringing humanity to technology, identity protection through the blockchain and the impending VR revolution.
We continued our streak of incredible AMAs with two different sessions, one devoted to IBM Watson and the power of AI, and the other focusing on bots and smart services. Around 12:00 PM, Daniel Gruhl, Principal Research Staff Member at IBM and Fernando Koch,
Director of R&D at Samsung Research took the stage to talk a little about what they learned from (and taught to) IBM Watson. One of the more surprising things we learned about IBM Watson is that it makes a great chef; without the human tendency to avoid flavor combinations that sound counterintuitive, Watson has come up with some amazing recipes (think: an out-of-this-world Bengali-southwestern butternut squash BBQ sauce). Watson’s also somewhat of a social media expert. Using its amazing data analysis capability, Watson was able to determine that the word least likely to result in retweets if included in a Tweet was ‘lol’, while the word most likely to drive retweets was ‘relationship’ (unfortunately, the jury’s still out on what the odds of a retweet for “Lol @ my relationship” are). Later, Tom Standage, Deputy Editor and Head of Digital Strategy at The Economist and Mikael Berner, CEO and Founder of EasilyDo Inc. talked bots and smart services. Our big takeaway: Developers have the opportunity to leverage AI to help them draw powerful conclusions about data, but they should be careful of the “spookiness” factor — nobody wants their privacy infringed upon. A good balance for developers, Mikael said, is to use aggregated data to draw demographic conclusions, but avoid digging into personal information.
Yesterday’s version of the innovation track featured another diverse group of Made for Samsung partners making the most of what the Samsung ecosystem has to offer. And with 20+ million MAUs in Galaxy Apps alone, we do indeed have a lot to offer — including amazing services, tools and marketing. To open up the session, VP of Emerging Platforms at Samsung Mihai Pohontu welcomed Chantal Botana, Product Leader of Emerging Platforms & Partnerships at The Weather Company. Chantal discussed how The Weather Company is using the power of IoT and IBM Watson technology to deliver big data insights on time, weather and location to consumers, all through the brand’s Made for Samsung app. Next on the horizon? An events calendar that maps the weather to your personal schedule. After, News Republic CEO and Founder Gilles Raymond took the stage to talk about the unique way their media property is delivering information to consumers across a range of devices by leveraging early access to hardware, SDKs, product experts, emerging trends and user behavior analysis through their Made for Samsung partnership. Later, representatives from PEAR Sports, upday and Photobucket joined a panel led by Pohontu to talk about product updates, ROI from the Made for Samsung program and the keys to innovation (collaboration, building trust and growth through performance, according to the panelists).
In addition to hearing from some of the most well-established industry experts in the development field, SDC attendees also had the privilege of hearing innovative ideas from rising tech stars in the Developer Pitches competition. Over the course of two hours, a series of entrepreneurs took the floor at the Disrupter Theater to give their two-minute product pitch to and receive feedback from a panel of judges, which included Principal at Samsung Global Innovation Center Amit Garg, Managing Director and GM of the San Francisco Samsung Accelerator group John Rodkin and Strategic Investor at the Samsung Accelerator Christine Bechhold. Ideas ranged from a smart washing machine to a 360 video stitching and editing tool, but the top prize was awarded to Mike Blackstock, whose product Fred is a cloud-based visual programming tool for IoT powered by Node-RED. Mike walked away with a 30-minute meeting with the Samsung Accelerator and the choice between a Galaxy S7 Edge or a Gear VR. The judges also acknowledged two runners-up to America Lopez — who built an IoT app called “Beacon of Hope”, which includes a device that can be placed in public human trafficking hot spots so victims can trigger a distress signal that alerts and summons the authorities — and Louis Brion, who came up with an IoT authentication broker program (one particular use case suggested was using an NFC code to go into a reserved hotel room without having to check in at the reception desk first). A sincere congratulations to our winners and all those who participated — we’re expecting to see more great things from you soon!
Once again, SDC attendees spent most of the afternoon choosing from a series of high-quality breakout sessions. Conference-goers learned more about cloud computing, enterprise software services, IoT and the smart home, VR and much, much more. Other particularly notable sessions included the introduction to the Galaxy GameDev Program, an exploration of the Samsung Bio-Processor for all-in-one health monitoring and some tips for creating Gear apps that pair with mobile devices. Didn’t get to make it to all of the sessions you were interested in? Check out our library of session videos available on our Youtube channel.
After quenching their thirst for developer knowledge, attendees headed home at the end of the day, many with heads buzzing full of ideas, a few new friends, some serious Samsung swag and an eagerness to return to the next conference. We have to admit — SDC 2016 has been a truly incredible experience, and we’ve enjoyed hosting each and every person who attended (as well as keeping our friends who weren’t able to make it this time up-to-date). We’re looking forward to seeing you all again at our next conference! Until then, happy developing, and remember — the future starts with you.